Eric Miller has long been part of the renowned culinary culture of Long Island, but 2014 brings a summer of firsts for the chef and restaurateur. This is the first summer for his and partner Richard Silver’s new Bay Kitchen Bar, where Miller is also executive chef. The waterside spot in East Hampton marks Miller’s first restaurant venture with son Adam immersed in the family business. And this will be the first time Miller is joining the 40 chefs, 20 wineries and myriad local purveyors at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks—which, along with Dan’s GrillHampton, makes up the premier food-and-wine weekend that is Dan’s Taste of Summer.
This year the weekend comprising Taste of Two Forks and GrillHampton has been dubbed Dan’s Taste of Summer. What does the phrase “taste of summer” mean to you?
Summer means the bounty of local Long Island veggies, fish and shellfish. My favorites are the first strawberries and soft shell crabs now starting to come into season.
What are you most looking forward to at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks this year?
I look forward to working with all the other great Long Island chefs and introducing Bay Kitchen Bar to the gourmands of the Hamptons.
What have been the biggest and best changes you’ve witnessed in the culinary culture of the East End in the past five years?
I have noticed more people going back to slow food and farm-to-table cuisine. There is more attention paid to the quality of the ingredients compared to five years ago.
When you hear the phrase “local,” what comes to mind?
I think of the people here who still live off of the land and sea, and keep local foods local!
Where do you find inspiration, inside and outside the kitchen?
I get inspired by reading reviews and dining out to keep up on what others are doing. I am most inspired by what my purveyors bring to me and what dishes I can create using the ingredients at hand.
If you were packing for an East End picnic, what are three things we’d find in your basket?
Bay Kitchen Bar Citrus Ade (virgin or spiked with Sag Harbor Rum), a crusty baguette with a nice assortment of cheeses and cured meats and fresh fruit.
What drink are you looking forward to enjoying on a hot summer night?
We are doing a Blackberry Mint Julep over crushed ice, which is so refreshing.
Finish this sentence: An empty plate is…a happy diner!
Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 11, and continues on Saturday, July 12 with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, both at Sayre Park, 156 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. For more information on both events, including tickets and VIP packages, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.